Implications of recent drug approvals for older adults

Christine Eisenhower, University of Rhode Island
Michael Koronkowski, University of Illinois at Chicago
Zachary Marcum, University of Washington


More than 100 medications were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as new drugs or for new indications in 2014 and 2015. Several of the new drugs may benefit older adults, but adverse events and pharmacokinetic changes due to aging must be considered. This article will focus on three recently approved drugs that are marketed for chronic conditions that can affect older adults: Suvorexant, for treatment of insomnia; edoxaban, for prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and for treatment of venous thromboembolism; and droxidopa, for treatment of symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. Information about indications, mechanisms of action, dosing, efficacy, and safety are reviewed. The place of each agent in therapy for older adults is also discussed.